My D2x doesn't seem to like zooms :(

Joined
May 5, 2005
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482
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Rexburg, ID
When I got my D2x, the first thing I did was throw my 50 1.4 (my sharpest lens) on it and shoot a focus test target. All was well so I thought I'd dodged the focus problem bullet. Now it appears I wasn't so lucky. After a weekend shoot, I was dissapointed at how many soft photos I got. I decided to repeat the focus test with each lens. The results mirror my weekend experience. Here's how they break down...

Nikkor 12-24
9 of the 11 focus points either front or back focus


Nikkor 24-120
6 of the 11 focus points either front or back focus


Sigma 70-200 2.8
2 of the 11 focus points either front or back focus


Sigma 105 2.8
perfect focus


Nikkor 50 1.4
perfect focus


http://www.ridges.dynip.com/images/D2x/Focus_test/

I spoke to Nikon this morning and I'll be send the camera in with the 12-24 and 24-120. The rep thought that after it's adjusted with those lens, the sigma zoom should work fine as well. This will be the first time I've had to use Nikon service. I hope it's a good experience. I'm not too thrilled at the cost of shipping everything and paying for $7500 insurance though.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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482
Location
Rexburg, ID
Well, it looks like Nikon has a fix for the focus problems (mine at least). I just got my camera back and initial tests are quite good.

I sent my camera to them on 6/3. On the 7th, it finally showed up on their website with a group C (major parts) repair. On Friday the 10th, I got the work oder from Nikon in the mail that stated they had recieved my D2Hs. I called this morning to sort out the confusion about sending a D2x and having a D2Hs on the work order to find that the camera was fixed and sent back via overnight on Friday. The tech then said it appears to have been left on my porch as we speak. I commented that they should have required a signature as that's a lot of money to have sitting outside all day. He agreed.

I went home and grabbed the body and my 24-120. When I got back to the office, I shot my focus target again with the afflicted sensors and it's spot on. This is even hand held in poor light. When I did the inital tests, a tripod and cable release was used so the fact that these initial shots were in focus is promising. I'll test the other lens tonight but so far so good.

Keep your fingers crossed...
 
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May 5, 2005
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Rexburg, ID
Hi Grant. I don't know exactly what they did even though I asked the Nikon rep on the phone. He claimed that his computer didn't show the complete breakdown of what was done but that it would be returned with papers listed the services performed. I'm sumorizing the repairs because I don't have them with me at work but all they said were something like...

Group 3
Repaired
Checked auto focus - within spec
Cleaned sensor
etc.

I'm curious myself as to what EXACTLY was done.

Steve
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
96
Location
Norwalk, CA
Steve,

I would be interested in hearing what is listed on your invoice as far as repairs. Mine is in Torrance right now listed also as class C repairs.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
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Houston, TX
I think Class C is how they list anything that's going to be at all labor intensive, it doesn't automatically mean they're replacing a bunch of parts (though it could). When I sent my D70 in for the backfocusing fix they listed it as Class C but as far as I can tell from the final invoice they didn't actually replace anything, just calibrate focus and do the usual checkup and cleaning.
 
M

mattmak

Guest
Ruffles, I got the same story from Nikon the first time my camera was in for OOF issues... but after all, my D2X still can't focus my 70-200VR... so it's in for a second round.

almost seems to me that they hope a cleaning and a secret firmware upgrade will satisfy users... but then some come back with the same problem. I'm glad to hear that some are getting perfect results

cheers, Matt
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
482
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Rexburg, ID
Well, it appears that not all is well. The 24-120 is now focusing perfectly as is the Sigma 70-200 but the 12-24 is way off. I'm going to take my camera and lens to a dealer today and try them on their cameras and see how they compare before returning them again to Nikon. My concern is I have a Family reunion in 2 weeks and I'm taking all the family pictures so I'm worried about sending my camera in before then incase it doesn't get back in time.

My repair invoices list the following:

for the D2x...

C
Service Repair Rank C
Write Up
Repair
CKD AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
CKD IMAGE TEST
CLN CCD
CKD FUNCTION BUTTON
GENERAL CHECK & CLEAN
WITHIN STANDARDS

for the lens...

C
Service Repair Rank C
Write Up
Repair
CKD FUNCTION BUTTON
CKD AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
CKD ZOOMING MECHANISM
WITHIN STANDARDS
GENERAL CHECK & CLEAN
CKD IMAGE TEST
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
96
Location
Norwalk, CA
Thanks,

I seems that they just checked everything, but no parts were replaced. I am curious to know if while checking those items they were also adjusted.

When my D2H started acting up with autofocus and metering, the repairs listed checking those items, but also the invoice said adjusted.

Let us know how you make out, I know how frustrating this can be.
 
M

mattmak

Guest
"Within Standards" means to me that they didn't do anything but check and clean the camera. I'm almost certain that the first time mine was in I got the same summary. it is frustrating. especially since you hear of others getting their D2X *replaced* completely with a perfectly working one in only a day...

I can't afford to miss some weddings that are coming up...

Matt
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
482
Location
Rexburg, ID
This focus testing is driving me nuts. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm sitting here in my office playing with it and what seems to be happening is that with different lens, the actual focus point doesn't always line up with the rectical. I noticed this when I was getting a focus lock even though the taget was not in the retical and the rectical was just on blank paper. I move to retical around on the paper noting where it would obtain focus and where it wouldn't. It seems that the actual focus point is above the lower row of recticals and below the upper row (if that makes any sense) and the size of the sensor seems dependand on the lens as well.

I then noticed that I always have perfect focus with the center sensor but the further out I go, the worse it gets however, how does the ccd plane vs image plane fit into this? The 12-24 cause lots of distortion so when I keep the camera parallel to the test target and select the left or right most retical, the planes don't seem parallel. If I tilt the camera a bit, I now get better focus. Is the camera supposed to take the distance change into consideration between camera to center vs camera to edge?

I've messed with this so much and stressed over wether or not my $5k camera is working that now I don't know if the problem is in the camera or my head :? .
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
482
Location
Rexburg, ID
mattmak said:
"Within Standards" means to me that they didn't do anything but check and clean the camera. I'm almost certain that the first time mine was in I got the same summary. it is frustrating. especially since you hear of others getting their D2X *replaced* completely with a perfectly working one in only a day...

I can't afford to miss some weddings that are coming up...

Matt
I read it as a sequence of events. They performed a "repair" and then verified that it was "within standards". Whatever they did, I definatly notice an improvement with the 24-120 and 70-200. The 12-24 I'm not sure about. I guess I'll just go compare my camera with some others and see how it does.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
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Location
Norwalk, CA
>> This focus testing is driving me nuts <<

What do you mean, you are not enjoying your job at Nikon as test pilot?

I know the feeling.
 
M

mattmak

Guest
Ruffles, I did some tests on the weekend and found the the camera was focussing just below the selected focus rectangle. it was odd and I'm not sure if I can replicate it every single time.

it's very strange.. because that would contradict all the backfocussed test shots where I'm shooting grass from and angle above to see the depth of field. if the actual focus point was below the rectangle, then I should be getting front focus.. but it was backfocussing...

I really want my D2X back but I'm worried that I'll have more, hard to explain issues...

I need to keep good hope..

Matt
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
482
Location
Rexburg, ID
I just got back from Glazers where I tried another D2x with my lens. The two focused the same. I think at this point, I'm going to accept that it's fixed for several reasons...

1. My other lens now focus perfectly.
2. With the 12-24, the problem seems to be intermittent. (more on this)
3. With the 12-24, the focus test target line is so small, it barley takes up any of the rectical. This leaves lots of room for errors and may explain why sometimes it right on and sometimes, it back focuses. When it does back focus, it's not by much which I think could be accounted for by the small target.
4. While the 12-24 is supposed to be a good lens, I may just be expecting too much at the edges.
5. I've not had any problems with real pictures from this lens...only pics of the focus test.

Now, the hard part will be forcing myself to not stress about it :)
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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Rexburg, ID
Sorry to hear about your experience. Don't give up. May people like Jim that have had their cameras replaced can provide tips on saying the correct things to trigger Nikon to take care of us.

I spent last evening playing with my camera and I think I'll send it back a second time. When I tested the other D2x, I didn't have much time so I'm not 100% convinced. After playing last night, the BF on the 12-24 is really bad. I even had a couple of instances where the entire frame was WAY OOF yet the camera got a lock. This was in my poorly lit office so go figure.

I called Nikon this morning and they confirmed that nothing was done to the camera and that they thought it was within spec. The are sending a UPS Next Day shipping label so that I won't have to spend more on shipping (I had to complain about the $75 I spent the first time before he offered). I've got a family reunion coming up so it will be a few weeks before I can send it to them but I've got to get it perfect. It just bugs me too much having spent this much money to not have it work perfectly.

In the mean time, I'll go back and recheck another D2x and compare all sensors.

Good luck with yours. I'll let you know what happens with mine.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
96
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Norwalk, CA
Ruffles,

I went out this morning and took 50 shots handheld with a 17-55DX, 85mm f/1.8 and the 70-200 VR. All 50 shots were quite sharp, a tremendous improvement over what I got with the first 500+ shots, but every one of them was very soft. I am going to send some samples to Nikon and call them, I think I am going to push for a replacement. With a 5k camera I expect to feel pain if I take a picture of someone bleeding.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
482
Location
Rexburg, ID
The plot thickens...

I tried another 12-24 and it definatly better. I'd say that with the new lens, 9 of the sensors are spot on and 2 are just good.

There is a place in downtown Seattle (Phototronics)that does repair work for Nikon. I talked to them today and they will take a look at my camera and lens Monday. They said depending on what they find, they may be able to make adjustments on the spot but that Nikon prefers to do warranty repairs for DSLRs themselves. My problem is that I don't have enough time to send it back to CA.

At this point, all the primes are perfect, the 70-200 is fine, the 24-120 has 1 sensor thats borderline and the new 12-24 has 2 sensors that are borderline but for 5 grand, I want perfection.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Messages
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Norwalk, CA
Ruffles,

Please let us know what the repair shop tells you.

I took mine out this morning, the results with the 60mm micro and the 85 f/1.8 were pretty good, but the 24-120VR was a disaster.
 
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